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5 mind-boggling things you should know about quantum

5 mind-boggling things you should know about quantum

HARIDHA P 88 27-Dec-2022

1. Lumpy is how the quantum universe is.

There are many parallels between the quantum realm and shoes(opens in new tab). You can't simply stroll into a store and choose sneakers that are the perfect fit for your foot. Instead, you're compelled to pick amongst pairs that have set sizes.The subatomic realm is comparable. Albert Einstein(opens in new tab) received the Nobel Prize for demonstrating the quantization of energy. 

The name 'quantum physics' refers to the fact that energy is only available in multiples of the same 'quanta,' much like how shoes can only be purchased in multiples of half a size.The quanta in this instance is the Planck constant, which was created by Max Planck, the founder of quantum physics.

2. An object may be both a wave and a particle.

For his discovery that electrons are particles, J. J. Thomson received the Nobel Prize in 1906. To prove that electrons are waves, however, his son George was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1937. Who was right? Both of them are correct. One of the fundamental concepts of quantum physics is the so-called wave-particle duality(opens in new tab). Both light and electrons are affected by it. When considering light, it sometimes be advantageous to think of it as an electromagnetic wave, but other times, picturing it as tiny particles known as photons is more practical.

3. A thing can exist in two places at once.

A prime example of superposition is wave-particle duality (opens in new tab). That is, a quantum item that is simultaneously present in several states. For instance, an electron exists concurrently in both places. Only after we conduct an experiment to determine its location does it settle into one or the other. 

This turns quantum physics into a science of probabilities. Once we look, we can only speculate as to which condition an object is most likely to be in. The wave function, an abstract mathematical concept, has these chances. By shattering the superposition and pushing the item into just one of its many possible states, it is argued that making an observation causes the wave function to 'collapse.'

4. It might direct us to the multiverse.

The Copenhagen interpretation of quantum physics postulates that observation causes the wave function to collapse and compel a quantum 'choice.' But it's not the only choice available. The 'many worlds' interpretation proponents contend that there is absolutely no option to be made. 

Instead, at the instant the measurement is taken, reality splits into two versions of itself: one in which we experience outcome A and another in which we observe outcome B come to pass. It avoids the tricky question of whether a dog or a robot counts as an observer when things need to happen in order to be observed.

5. Absent it, sunlight wouldn't shine.

Nuclear fusion is the mechanism by which the sun generates its energy. It involves the joining of two protons, which are positively charged atomic particles. They resist one another, nevertheless, much like the two north poles of a magnet, due to their similar charges. There is something resembling a wall between the two protons that physicists refer to as the Coulomb barrier.Imagine if protons are particles that just slam into the wall and then disperse: No fusion, no sunshine. The situation is different when you see them as waves, though.

The leading edge of the wave passes through the wall before the crest does. The proton is most likely to be located at the height of the wave. Therefore, even though the leading edge is unlikely to be there, it occasionally is. Fusion appears to have taken place as if the proton had broken past the barrier. Physicists refer to this phenomenon as “quantum tunnelling.”

A passionate writer, blogger, language trainer, co-author of the book 'Irenic' and an enthusiastic learner. Interest includes travelling places and exploring.

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